Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SLR Lens Repair

On our recent climb of San Gorgonio (11,000+ ft- highest in SoCal) the thin air must have messed with my brain and I forgot to close the camera case after I took a picture. Sucks. A few steps later and my camera went flying out and landed on the trail with a sickening thud. The only good thing, as Nicole pointed out, was that it landed on the dusty trail and not on any of the medium sized granite rocks laying around.

The camera body seemed to be fine, and even the lens seemed OK that day. However it became increasingly difficult to zoom with it (35-135mm) and there was a rattle when it moved around. Uhhh sickening when I think of how these high-tech optic devices are made. So I took the plunge to open it up and see what was going on in there... hoping it didn't look anything like a Shimano shifter.

Was actually pretty easy... a few small screws opened up with an exacto knife, and I was in one layer... and that's all I needed I guess. Removed a few plastic bits that had snapped off, and put one screw back on the zoom mechanism that keeps the optics track lined up. It is still pretty stiff to zoom in/out, but I don't want to mess with trying to put any lubricants in there.... I think I'll just take the working lens I have now and be happy about it.

But once I get a job... I'm getting this guy. Like the carbon wheels of cameras.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Solar Hot Water Heaters

I've been thinking about looking into solar hot water systems as a career path / general interest. Seems like a very easy way to utilize energy that is hitting our houses and would normally be removed via HVAC.

However, I was reading an article online today that stated this about the systems:

"Payback can be immediate for a new home, if homeowners incorporate the cost into their mortgage"

It was at this point that I stopped reading this article. Seriously. I'm interested in building a nuclear reactor to power my house and the multi-plex sports arena I'm going to build next door. It won't cost much, though, because if I roll it into my mortgage the payback will be immediate.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

San Marcos Crit

Did my second race recently, and my first "non-ride around a flat rectangle and wait for the sprint". Will do another one of those babies next weekend ;)

San Marcos Crit features a pretty cool course- a 60' little pitch on one section, then a much shallower, but still uphill, drag to the line, followed by a few bombing straightaways into a headwind. Most races tend to blow up a bit on the course, so my goal was just to finish and get some confidence rolling towards more training and cx season. It was HARD. It started off easily enough, but once a group of 8 or so wanted to try and get up the road, it strung out pretty much the whole ~60 person peleton. There ended up being some gaps, and about 3-4 groups strung out... of which I was in the 3rd. Thankfully right as I was nearing my limit the front group was caught and everyone took a breather. At this point I really wish I was in shape, because my style would be to attack right then... but I was only thinking of recovery. For the rest of the race I just hung on for dear life on the uphill portion of the climb and flew down as hard as I could on the downhill making up 10 or so spots each time that I could then give up on the hill without losing ground. Ended up working allright... was able to hang until the last time up the hill where I just let the race go and rode my way over the line.

Next week is another CBR- flat crit. I felt real good at the last one, but just got boxed and didn't have the balls to do much about it. This time I'll try and make some more effort to stay up there.